Last Updated: November 23rd, 2011
As part of the Android's open source Apache license, manufacturers are required to publicly release all of their own modifications and improvements made to the Android core. Today, both Samsung and Motorola decided it would be the perfect time to drop the Captivate and Droid X code to their respective open source sites.
This will allow ROM developers to figure out all those little quirks specific to the hardware and incorporate them into their releases.
Note, however, that the Android license doesn't cover proprietary extensions, such as custom vendor applications and widgets, and therefore does not require manufacturers to open source them:
With the exception of brief update periods, Android has been available as open source since 21 October 2008.
Last Updated: July 28th, 2010
A few enterprising hackers over at AllDroid have come up with a simpler method for rooting the Droid. Similar to SimpleRoot, it’s a small program that provides a GUI with 2 buttons – “Root Me :)” and “Unroot Me :(,” and bundles in all necessary drivers and bits of code – thus removing the need to download and install the Android SDK.
Once the zip file has been downloaded (you can get it from MediaFire here, or if you’re an AllDroid forum member, you can hit up the read link and login and download it), the instructions are pretty short and sweet:
Update: here is a mirror hosted by our friends at DroidXForums.